Believing in Magic

Believing in Magic

4.11 - 1251 ratings - Source

'Professor Vyse presents the historical, sociocultural, and psychological basis for superstition in a clear, interesting, and even entertaining way. What easily could have been a dry, over-intellectualized tome is, instead, a gem of a book that engaginly tells the story of what science has learned about superstition, of how pervasive and powerful superstition can be, and of why critical thinking skills are so important in everyday life.' -Douglas A. Bernstein, Professor of Psychology, University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign'Many books deal with irrational beliefs but have little to say about why people cling to superstitions...and what can be done to stem the rising tide of interest in pseudoscience and the paranormal. Professor Vyse has filled this vacuum with a book as entertaining as it is enlightening.' -Martin Gardner'This book can be rewritten or updated every fifteen years, I believe, since new claptrap presents itself every day. And there are always victims out there ready to surrender their common sense for a talisman...or a ritual that puts them 'in' with their peers and gives them the warm glow of being avant-garde. Meanwhile, I urge the rationalists out there to snap up this book when they see it. It may be heading for the bonfires.' -James Randi, The James Randi Educational Foundation, Fort Lauderdale, Florida'Employing scientific techniques and utilizing hard facts, Vyse shows how silly superstition really is.... This is a highly informative book, dealing with everything from chain letters to lucky charms to the lottery system.' -Amazon'Vyse presents plenty of uncomfortable truths about the way most of us think, and plumbs a vast literary repetoire ranging from Chaucer and Melville through Leon Festinger (the author of the theory of cognitive dissonance)to get us into his corner.' -Voice Literary Supplement'An engaging introduction to psychology focused on a topic, superstition, of inherent interest to us all.' -Valerie M. Chase, The Boston Book ReviewMuch of the appeal of these methods derives from the sense of control they provide. But aquot;instant-ticketaquot; lottery games offer little player involvement and still remain popular. In these games, the bettor purchases a scratch-off ticket that is alreadyanbsp;...

Title:Believing in Magic
Author:Stuart A. Vyse
Publisher:Oxford University Press, USA - 2000


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